The Birdfarers Mission Statement

I got the idea for the Birdfarers trips in the summer of 2009 when an author friend of mine asked if I would accompany him on a trip to the Australian outback.   At The Birdfair I enquired of Birdlife International if any of the 192 critically endangered birds lived in the outback.  I was told that there was one, the night parrot, and my interest in the trip immediately increased.   I was then informed that the night parrot had not been seen since 1990 apart from a dead one someone found in 2006.  I found this news somewhat less than encouraging, but resolved not to let it put me off!

So the seed of an idea was sown in my brain, and the enthusing waters of the Birdfair flowed over me that weekend to trigger germination.  I resolved to get out there and try to see these endangered birds, and try to help in promoting their conservation.  The enormity of the task became apparent from initial attempts to organise going in search of the spoon-billed sandpiper.  This iconic little wader breeds in remote parts of Siberia.  Enquiries about visiting the Chukotka Peninsular met with a wall as effective as the one that used to divide Berlin.  The Red Flag may have gone but the red tape remains!

I realised too that there was a paucity of grants and financial assistance for people wishing to volunteer a large amount of their time on conservation work.  I decided to set up a foundation that could provide small sums of money or vital equipment to people willing to help on bird conservation projects, or indeed directly to conservation projects themselves, at home and abroad.

Naturally a website was needed to serve as a focal point and conduit for the enterprise.   A name for this already existed.  As a student I belonged to the greatest university society in the world, The Wayfarers of Birmingham Guild of Students, a walking and mountain climbing club.  We traveled far and wide and I would often strike out alone on a diversion to see some interesting bird.  This earned me the nickname Birdfarer and I resurrected it for this new purpose by adding an ‘S‘.  The ‘Birdfarers‘ would be all those people who the Foundation helps to go on trips, expeditions, and programmes concerned with bird protection and preservation.  The website will feature trip reports and accounts of our travels and travails, as well as photographic records of the birds and their environments.  The latest posts will be seen in the main body of the webpage to the left, and previous posts and articles archived below.  The photograph galleries are hosted on Flickr.

One of the ways in which Birdfarers aims to raise funds is through selling artwork and curios in an online shop on the Etsy website, with details here to follow.


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